There are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims on Earth. That is approximately 24% of the world population. They live in regions spanning North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and reaching as far as Southeast Asia. There are Muslim communities in virtually every nation – and in many – they have played a pivotal, constructive, and welcomed role in national development.
If even 1% of the world’s Muslims were violent terrorists bent on conquering the world, that would constitute an army 18 million strong – or in other words – larger than the next 20 largest armies on Earth combined. Most critics of Islam infer that the number is actually much higher than 1% – many suggesting that the majority of Muslims either are engaged in or support terrorism. It is logical to conclude that if even 1% were dedicated to terrorism and the “conquest of infidels,” the war would have ended in their favor long ago.
It is clear that there is not even 1% across Islam engaged in or supporting terrorism. Across the Arab World, the vast majority of Muslims, Christians, other sects, and the secular, stand united against terrorism. It is clear that a mountain of lies stands between many and the truth – a mountain built so tall that it leaves entire segments of targeted populations in the perpetual darkness of ignorance.
From Whence Terror Flows
The source of terrorism is not the Qu’ran – a book that few critics of Islam have even picked up let alone genuinely read – but rather a very easily traced money trail that leads to Washington and London.
It is indeed the Western World that has created, branded, and marketed “radical Islam,” which is for all intents and purposes a strictly political tool designed to provoke direct Western military interventions where possible, and fight conflicts by proxy whenever direct military intervention is not possible.
In Syria and Iraq, the US has used its terrorist proxies to do both – first to fight the government of Damascus and its allies by proxy, and when that failed, to set a pretext for direct US military intervention.
It has also been used domestically, as one former analyst once put it, “to enlist our obedience for the construction of the prison planet.” Indeed, under the pretext of “fighting terrorism,” the United States and much of Europe has been transformed into an invasive police state and despite stripping away the freedom and liberty of the Western World for the promise of security – the peoples of the West find themselves with neither.
For those that have been sucked up into “radical Islam,” it seems very real. Just as the US uses patriotism to convince young men and women to devote their lives to foreign invasions, wars, and occupations against scores of sovereign nations around the world – predicated on “freedom, democracy, and self-determination” even as US militarism strips all of the above away from the planet – that fraction of a fraction of 1% engaged in “radical Islam” truly believe in their cause – no matter how nonexistent and contradictory it is in reality.
And “radical Islam” does not exist in a vacuum. It requires a medium to interact with. That includes a equally extreme, but opposite “radical ignorance” and fear sown across the Western population. Together, the two feed each other creating a perpetual pretext for foreign war, a perpetual sense of injustice against Muslims to which US-armed and funded terrorists can rally around, and perpetual fear and hatred spread across the Western World.
It is the age-old political tool of empires – divide and conquer – honed to perfection and supercharged through information technology – particularly social media.
Wahhabism – The Key to Arab Conquest
Part of “radical ignorance” includes a deep and profound ignorance of history. Understanding the actual inception of “radical Islam,” more accurately known as Wahhabism, dispels many of the most virulent lies spread about Islam – that is has always been a barbaric, warlike ideology. Militant Islam is a relatively new phenomenon, invented by the House of Saud, then cultivated and exploited to its full potential by the British Empire and its American heirs.
The Ottoman Empire and mastery over the Arab World was coveted and contested by the British Empire. The promise of Arab independence was dangled over the heads of the founders of many of the dynasties now ruling Arabia – dynasties that were carved out through cults of personality and a violent misinterpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism. The British, after betraying the Arabs, would harness this political tool to do what all empires do best – divide and conquer – and specifically so regarding the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
As the British Empire unraveled, the Americans picked up where London left off. The Saudis and their neighboring Persian Gulf kingdoms have been propped up by the West since the end of World War 1. Since World War 2, many of the same dynasties have sat in power, armed, funded, protected, and invited into some of the most lucrative business deals and economic activity in human history.
It was with members of the Muslim Brotherhood that the US attempted to overthrow current Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad with. It was the US with the Saudis and factions within Pakistan’s military and government who oversaw the very creation of militant groups like Al Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.
And it is to this very day still very much a US-European enterprise perpetuating the Saudi regime in Riyadh, arming it to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons and military support, and using Riyadh admittedly as an intermediary through which Washington, London, and Brussels arm and fund the worst, most virulent terrorist organizations on Earth.
Even current US President Donald Trump – who regularly cites “radical Islam” as an enduring threat to America’s national security, has signed off on immense weapon deals to the very nations the US uses to cultivate and perpetuate global terrorism.
The US and Europe Drive Terrorism, Not Islam
Each and every terrorist attack that unfolds across North America or Europe is followed by a tidal wave of propaganda aimed at further bolstering a “clash of civilizations.” The fearful public either cowers or lashes out against Muslims – led by establishment voices including the newly christened “alt-right.”
Muslims and Islam are blamed and the same collection of elementary talking points are rolled out to fan the flames of hatred and hysteria. Points of logic including the number of Muslims on Earth versus the actual number of terrorists are never discussed.
Also never discussed is the fact that terrorists – particularly those either members of the self-titled “Islamic State” (ISIS) and Al Qaeda, or those inspired by such groups – are indoctrinated, radicalized, armed, funded, and supported by Washington, London, Brussels, and a collection of the West’s closest allies in the Middle East – namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel.
It was in a leaked 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo that revealed the US and its allies’ intent to create what it called a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria. The memo would explicitly state that (emphasis added):
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
On clarifying who these supporting powers were, the DIA memo would state:
The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.
The “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) would indeed be created precisely in eastern Syria as US policymakers and their allies had set out to do. It would be branded as the “Islamic State” and be used first to wage a more muscular proxy war against Damascus, and when that failed, to invite US military forces to intervene in the conflict directly.
In 2014, in an e-mail between US Counselor to the President John Podesta and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it would be admitted that two of America’s closest regional allies – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – were providing financial and logistical support to ISIS.
The e-mail, leaked to the public through Wikileaks, stated:
…we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.
Despite admissions from the United States military and high-level politicians that ISIS was literally a creation of its own intentional foreign policy and perpetuated through state-sponsorship by America’s closest regional allies, both the administrations of President Barack Obama and President Trump would continue signing weapon deals, maintaining diplomatic ties, and strengthening military and economic cooperation with these state-sponsors of terror.
Simultaneously, the US and Europe also continue encouraging and protecting Saudi Arabia’s global network of faux-madrases – centers of indoctrination often under the watch and even co-management of Western intelligence agencies ensuring a constant, fresh supply of potential patsies for local terrorist attacks and recruits for the West’s proxy armies fighting abroad.
In other words, the problem of “radical Islam” is manufactured and perpetuated by the West. Without the money, weapons, and support provided by the US and Europe to nations like Saudi Arabia, their toxic political tools would quickly dull and be swept into the dustbin of human history. As seen in Syria itself, where hundreds of trucks per day from NATO territory are no longer able to supply ISIS positions within the country, ISIS is unable to sustain itself. It lacks genuine popular support in a region where the vast majority of Muslims, Christians, and the secular remain united against it and has no means of sustaining itself without immense and constant state sponsorship.
“Radical Islam,” or Wahhabism is no different. Both continue to exist through the intentional and malicious foreign and domestic policy of Western governments and the special interests that influence them.
Know Yourself and Know Your (Real) Enemy
For those that believe that “radical Islam” is real and an enduring threat to “Western civilization,” they would be wise to heed the words of ancient warlord Sun Tzu who said,
“know yourself, and know your enemy and you will never be defeated.”
This means identifying the true source of “radical Islam’s” power by tracing weapons, money, and leadership to their sources. For those that believe “Islam” is the fundamental problem, indulging in cherry picked Qu’ran verses is monumentally irresponsible. A true enemy must be honestly studied which means cherry-picked versus must be put into context, the Qu’ran as a whole, must be read, and deep and objective study must be undertaken to truly “know one’s enemy.”
Meeting and talking with Muslims, observing their communities, and learning their ways – if one truly believes Islam is a threat – is also fundamental in order to “know one’s enemy.”
Yet it is likely that many who blindly hate Islam do so as a spectator sport. They are disinterested in the truth because picking a side and rooting is the extent of their intellectual, physical, and moral depth. For others, it is a means of profiting. Finding a niche in the West’s massive propaganda machine and picking up crumbs for one’s bank account and ego has become a viable business model for many.
But for those with the moral integrity to do so, a genuine look into “radical Islam” will reveal a much more troubling and real enemy. One that does not menace us with a foreign culture, religion, or ideology from abroad, but one that lies right in our midst, cloaked in patriotism, humanitarianism, and all that passes for “Western civilization” today.
Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook”.
This article was originally published by New Eastern Outlook.
Featured image is from the author.